My husband and I visit NYC 2-3 times a year and love to sample a wide range of restaurants. For our trip next weekend and another in May, we have a new challenge: I have just decided to stop eating all meat and most dairy (I'll eat dairy if it is humanely raised). I still eat fish, including sushi. My husband is trying to go along with the program but still likes meat occasionally. We will be meeting our daughter for some meals in NY, and she is mostly vegan (but may eat dairy or eggs if humanely raised). Despite my commitment to change, I don't like meat substitutes and don't find many appealing items on strictly vegan menus (other than salads, which I love). We don't want to waste money on food that fits the requirements but doesn't taste great. We all like Indian and Middle Eastern food as well as other ethnic cuisines. Farm-to-table restaurants may also work.
We'll need lunch and dinner in various locations. For this weekend, we will be staying at a hotel in Brooklyn, on 4th Ave. near 25th St. (R line is nearby, and we can transfer to F line) so we could get dinner in Brooklyn if there is a place convenient to those subway lines (I guess I need to post on that board), or we could get dinner in lower Manhattan. On Saturday around lunchtime we will be in Central Park in the Bandshell area (72nd) and/or Fifth Ave. and 105th St., but if there is nothing suitable around there we could go elsewhere. We will be dressed for walking so can't go anywhere fancy, and in any case prefer casual settings that are reasonably priced.
For lower Manhattan, Pala on Allen St. and Westville sound good; I've crossed off some other places that have been suggested on Chowhound because of some poor reviews on Yelp (Blossom, Candle Cafe, Caravan of Dreams, Spring Street Natural, Tiengarden). Beyond Sushi sounds good but may not be conveniently located. For lunch Josie's on Amsterdam at 74th is a possibility (we've eaten there before and been reasonably satisfied), but need another option if we end up at Fifth and 105th at lunchtime. Suggestions?
It would also be great if you could suggest someplace to get tasty chocolate cookies or other desserts that are vegan or are made with humanely raised dairy and eggs. I'm guessing that my old favorites, such as Levain, won't meet the requirements.